None of us has the power to deal with dead dreams, dead hopes, or dead relationships.
We cannot make dead cancerous cells come to life. We cannot raise dead joys and hopes and dreams to life, and we cannot breathe life into dead relationships with friends, spouses, or children either. No matter how you slice it, human beings are incapable of raising dead things. However, there is a place, or I should say, there is a Person, where the power to raise dead things exists. Look at Mark 5.
There was a woman in the crowd who had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she was worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. For she thought to herself, "If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed." Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed!1
In Mark 5, we encounter a woman living a dead life. A quick read through Leviticus 15 and we discover that this woman’s condition caused anything she sat on, laid on, or even touched to be considered "unclean" (the worst possible condition in Hebrew culture). Moreover, anyone who came into contact with what this woman touched would become unclean themselves.
You can imagine then that this poor woman had been an outcast of society for twelve long years. Her bleeding made her so.
Make no mistake. As long as she continued to bleed, she continued to be a pariah to those around her. Desperate to breathe life into her shunned existence, our unnamed friend tried everything available to her. What was the result? At the end of a dozen agonizing years, all her efforts produced only a worsened condition and an empty bank account.
We may shake our head at this pitiable woman, but don’t we do the same thing? Time and again, we turn to our own devices. We struggle in our own wisdom and strength. If that doesn’t work, we look to friends. If the well still seems dry, we may even turn to counselors, psychologists, self-help books, etc. But none of the above has the power to raise dead things. That power is reserved for One alone.
Mark 5 tells us that after twelve painful and empty years, this woman hears about Jesus. In desperation, she pushed herself through the crowd hoping just to touch Jesus’ robe. Once she did, the bleeding stopped.
Think about this with me for a moment. By Old Testament Law, when this woman touched Jesus’ robe, she made that robe unclean. Since Jesus is wearing that robe, He would become unclean. In fact, everyone that woman pushed through to get to Jesus would be considered unclean. Yet, this story does not tell of an unclean mass wallowing in spiritual defilement. No, it tells a different story indeed.
This story tells instead of a miraculous instant--an instant where twelve years of pain, anguish, and crushed hopes are joyously ended. How incredible! This woman spent twelve years doing all that worldly wisdom and strength had to offer. For her efforts, she comes away worse than when she started! Turning to Jesus, she grabs hold of His robe with her unclean hands and finds healing, restored hope, and new life.
I love the message in that. There is more power in the robe of Jesus than in all the wisdom and devices of man. Twelve years of heartache and barrenness come to a merciful and grace-filled halt after a momentary touch.
This woman’s dead life was miraculously resurrected by the power of Jesus. No more bleeding, no more living in the shadows, no more hiding on the outskirts of town, no more separation from friends and family. The old is gone and the new has come.
That is amazing! But it's not everything. What Jesus does next is even better. We'll look at that next time.